Child Protection and Safeguarding
Tragic loss of life of a fifteen year old teenager
Dear parents and carers
As you will undoubtedly have heard, this weekend saw the tragic loss of life of a fifteen year old teenager. As we come into the school summer holidays, it is vitally important that we raise awareness of the key safety messages to students and parents/carers about the risks of illegal drugs and alcohol, particular to those students who are most vulnerable. We would particularly like to get key messages out before students break up for the summer.
We would like all parents and carers to please read the following important messages;
- Drugs currently referred to as ‘legal highs’ (NPSs) are no longer legal.
- People consuming drugs are not aware of what they are taking and they can be extremely dangerous - they can kill.
- If anyone would like advice about drugs or alcohol, please visit TalkToFrand.com, a website which includes useful information.
- We ask that parents remain aware of where their children are, what they are doing and who they are socialising with, particularly on social media sites, where drugs are becoming more readily available. Please encourage parents to have open and honest conversations with their children about the risks of drugs and alcohol.
- If anyone is aware of people supply drugs to young people, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
There is a dedicated intelligence e-mail for information on drugs which will be essential in trying to reduce the chances of this happening again. As a reminder, the e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week Snapchat introduced a new feature, the ‘Snap Map’.
This location based map allows users to see where in the country their Snapchat contacts are, as well as seeing location based photos and videos. The Snap Map shows a user’s Bitmoji, their cartoon avatar within Snapchat, pinpointed on a world map. Users can then zoom into the map to see the exact location of their friends.
How to access Snap Maps
To access the Snap Map in the latest update of the Snapchat app, users need to go to their camera screen within Snapchat and zoom out using two fingers. This will then launch the Snap Maps screen and will allow a user to see their friend’s locations.
It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.
Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat - giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map - we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.
Safeguarding & Child Protection
South Dartmoor Community College is committed to child protection and safeguarding. We follow all statutory guidelines as well as our own policies and procedures.
Our core safeguarding principles are:
The school’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children is of paramount importance
Safer children make more successful learners
Policies will be reviewed at least annually unless an incident or new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an interim review.
Child Protection Statement 2016
We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.
The College will use the threshold tool to monitor and provide evidence in regards to safeguarding our young people. The threshold will be used to support discussions with parents and carers where there is a safeguarding concern. Please use the link below to understand more about how the College will take action when a concern is raised.
The adoption of the model provides consistency for professionals working across geographical areas. This dynamic model provides a needs led, outcome driven matrix of need and vulnerability which, when used effectively, can match the child/young person’s needs with the appropriate assessment and provision.
Designated Safeguarding Officers at South Dartmoor
Dan Vile – Designated Safeguarding Lead
Chris Hodges - Behavioural Co-ordinator/Deputy Safeguarding
Lucy Dennis – Designated Safeguarding Governor
Additional support staff for parents to contact
Tracey West - Medical Officer/Pastoral Team & Debbie Simpson - Incident Support/Pastoral Team
Please link here to view the full Child Protection Team, including all Performance Leaders.
Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy
Click here to read our Child Protection Policy. Paper copies are also available from Reception. We will act to protect a child where there is a disclosure or concern about abuse. The categories of abuse recognised by Social Services would be neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic abuse and sexual abuse.
Please click here to view the new advice for schools regarding Child Sexual Exploitation. The advice from the Department of Education is non-statutory, and has been produced to help practitioners, local leaders and decision makers who work with children and families to identify child sexual exploitation and take appropriate action in response. This includes the management, disruption and prosecution of perpetrators.
This advice replaces the 2009 guidance Safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation.
New Safeguarding Policy - Draft March 2017
The draft Safeguarding Policy is more comprehensive and has been updated to include all recent changes such as the new definition of CSE contained in Working Together to Safeguard Children.
Over 90% of students surveyed, feel safe and supported at all times
1 – Strongly agree 2 – Agree 3 – Disagree 4 – Strongly disagree
1. I feel safe in College at all times (includes before, after College, break and lunch)?
2. My Tutor supports me
July 2016 - Babcock external safeguarding audit completed
Please click to read the full safeguarding report carried out by Jane Lake, Education Safeguarding Officer for Babcock.
Reporting safeguarding concerns
Dan Vile – Designated Safeguarding Lead
College - 01364 352230 Safeguarding mobile - 07809341872
If you are unable to make contact, you must then call your concern through to:
Emergency Duty Team – Out of hours
Emergency Duty Team on - 0845 6000 388
For concerns related to terrorism;
Anti-Terrorist Hotline: 0800 789 321
Crime stoppers: 0800 555 111
(South West ) Police 101
Also a reminder to all parents that the College has a reporting button on the College website which enables students and parents to report concerns to the College anonymously. We do encourage parents and students using the report button to give specific details of the event to facilitate a faster resolution. It can be found here.
More information about child protection and safeguarding can be found on the Devon & Torbay Safeguarding Children Board's website: www.devon.gov.uk/childprotection
MASH is a partnership between Devon County Council children’s social care, education and youth services; Devon NHS health services; Devon and Cornwall Police; and the Probation Service working together to safeguard children and young people. When a professional, family member or member of the public is concerned about a child or young person’s safety, they can contact MASH. They deal with all enquiries/referrals where there is a child protection concern. You can find out more about what the organisation does and how to contact them in this information sheet for parents If you have serious concerns about a child or young person, or if you need help parenting your child, you can call 0345 155 1071 or email: email@example.com (Out of hours, please call 0845 6000 388. If it's an emergency, dial 999).
The Devon Safeguarding Children Board has an Early Help strategy to protect children or young people in Devon and provide help and advice to families as soon as they need it. Early Help is about more than child protection: it is about making sure that children living in Devon are safe, happy, healthy and well educated. Early Help co-ordinators work across Devon to ensure that those children and families needing help are receiving it from the right professionals.
If you feel that your family would benefit from Early Help, please contact a Designated Safeguarding Lead at the College. For additional support and advice, please use the link provided to access the Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016 version.
Students & Parents - Where can I get help
Information for parents
Please use the link above to access the College Counselling policy
Most young people are accessing the internet from a variety of devices. Safe use of the internet is taught in our Personal Development Curriculum, Impact Days and in Tutorials. However, all adults need to be aware of safeguarding issues around the internet. A useful source of free advice is Get Safe Online.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Adults also need to be aware of potential use of the internet in Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Radicalisation and there is free and useful information, advice and resources at the following sites/links/documents: South Dartmoor CSE Strategy 2016
Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation http://paceuk.info/
Additional support resources for parents
There’s a chance that your child may meet people online or visit websites that could lead them to adopting what you consider to be extreme views, and becoming radicalised. Please follow the links below for advice to parents about radicalisation:
Female Genital Mutilation
FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of human rights of girls and women. It is illegal in most countries including the UK.
Female Genital Mutilation It involves procedures that intentionally alter/injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
Drugs & Substance misuse
Please see below the latest newsletter from 'Drugs Sense UK'. The newsletter pays particular attention to the ever increasing use of 'Nitrous Oxide' by young people.
Key facts for parents to be aware of in regards to the dangers of using 'Nitrous Oxide';
- Nitrous Oxide is a controlled substance under the Medicines Act 1968 and has traditionally been associated with pain relief.
- The most popular method is to ‘inhale’ the substance from balloons. The balloons themselves are filled with the ‘nitrous oxide’ which is generally being sold in small canisters which can easily be purchased on line for a couple of pounds.
- The gas is transferred very quickly to the brain. The brain is literally starved of oxygen because the Nitrous Oxide in the blood stream depresses the lungs, which slows down the exchange of carbon dioxide.
- The February safeguarding newsletter also contains information about the dangers of using 'Nitrous Oxide'.
The College drug policy is very clear that ‘Nitrous Oxide’ is a ‘specific’ banned item; this also includes any such paraphernalia that could be linked to the use and supply of it.
What to look for, the small silver canisters (below) known as ‘whippets’.
The link below provides parents with some useful information regarding under age drinking and the support parents can access for their children. The website also provides guidance on how to talk to young people about alcohol misuse.
Medical & First Aid
Parents can contact Tracey West directly for any questions regarding illness, injury and administration of medication. Tracey works directly within the Performance Team and is our lead for FGM.
Monthly Medical Focus - Measles
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread through coughing and sneezing and close personal contact. Spending only 15 minutes with someone with measles can transmit the infection.
Most people recover completely from measles, however, on rare occasions there can be serious complications. If you have not yet received two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, Public Health England recommends that you seek preventive immunisation.
Two doses of the MMR vaccine offers protection against the three illnesses. If already infected with measles, the MMR will not cause any harm.
We urge you to ensure that you are protected with two MMR vaccinations. Public Health England advice in this situation is as follows:
The uptake of MMR immunisation is the key to controlling any cases of Measles. This will help to protect students and staff at the school and reduce spread to the wider community, including infants and babies who cannot be immunised because they are too young, people at greater risk as a result of other medical conditions, and pregnant women. A course of two doses of MMR is highly protective against measles. However, any vaccination cannot be 100% effective and we are aware that a very small number of those who are fully immunised may still be able to contract measles. Those who are fully immunised and contract the disease are less likely to be severely affected and the risk of them having serious complications is reduced.
Anyone under the age of 25 years who has not had two doses of MMR is advised to contact their doctor to arrange immunisation.
Most people born before 1970 had measles naturally and should be immune. Unless advised otherwise, parents should follow the recommended NHS vaccination schedule;
MMR immunisation also provides some protection if given with 72 hours of exposure to measles. Anyone who is vulnerable as a result of age, other medical conditions or pregnancy, who does come into contact with a suspected case should contact their doctor as they may benefit from a dose of immunoglobulin.
We advise that students becoming unwell with a fever and cold-like symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, or sore eyes, should stay away from school until their temperature returns to normal. If they develop a rash then measles should be suspected and they should stay off until 5 days after the onset of the rash. Please contact your GP surgery by telephone if measles is suspected and let the school know.
For further information about measles, please visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Information about the MMR vaccine can be found by visiting http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/mmr-vaccine.aspx
South Dartmoor Safeguarding Newsletters
Students with social, mental and physical difficulties
Please click the link below for support information.
Safeguarding report links below;
ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19. ChildLine counsellors are trained staff and volunteers who all have experience of listening and talking to children and young people.
About Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
We help children stay safe online. Has someone acted inappropriately towards you online, or to a child or young person you know? It may be sexual chat, being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone being insistent on meeting up. You can report it to us below.
Please see below additional safeguarding documents